Google and Twitter are together again.
In separate blog posts today, Twitter and Google announced users will begin seeing Tweets at the top of their Google searches. Just on mobile (ios and android) to start, with a desktop rollout expected to follow.
Search for a person or a hashtag and relevant Tweets and Twitter accounts will appear at the top of your browser. Give it a try yourself, we did.
Here’s what happened when we searched for “Letterman” earlier today:
We’re especially excited about this change because of the potential implications for visual content. Not only do Twitter users now have a chance to compete for front page real estate on Google search for free, they can also stand out among others by incorporating visual content.
As is proven to be true in other social streams, visuals make a message stand out and attract more eyeballs.
A search for #delta brought up recent tweets and many with visuals stood out.
In fact, one visual may have attracted enough attention of a certain writer that she couldn’t help but click and watch Delta’s entertaining new “internetest” safety video campaign (you probably should watch it, too).
It’s not yet clear how Google chooses which Tweets will appear or how Twitter will be integrated into broader search terms in the future. Speaking about the Google-Twitter deal, Google told the Wall Street Journal that they are testing what works, and what appears at the moment “depends on a variety of complex factors and is affected by real-time changes, so it may not always appear the same way for a given query.”
That is true in our experience. We found another search for Letterman brought up the show’s own Twitter feed with images displayed more than twice the size of the user generated tweets.
Real time news seems to be a major focus of the arrangement. As Google explains on their blog, “It’s a great way to get real-time info when something is happening. And it’s another way for organizations and people on Twitter to reach a global audience at the most relevant moments.”
For someone trying to build their social media following, spread awareness about their brand, and acquire users through organic search, this deal just presented a new opportunity.
Keep an eye on trending hashtags and search terms and chime in on discussions that are relevant to you. We like to use simple tools like Google Trends, Twitter Trends, and Hashtags.org to figure out what people are looking for and talking about at the moment.
Use Viraltag to share images with your tweets, and make sure to tag it with the right hashtag and keywords. A new opportunity and another incentive to build a consistent and strategic visual content strategy.
We’ll be keeping an eye on updates from Twitter and Google and will bring you more ways the changes could affect your content in the future.
Director of Marketing @ Viraltag